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Getting Frustrated

24

Comments

  • Posts: 2,479
    Right, when I said top strings I meant top physically, most people would say bottom strings, as in bottom-low frequency.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • jpipper17jpipper17 New Saga Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 25
    Buco wrote: »
    Right, when I said top strings I meant top physically, most people would say bottom strings, as in bottom-low frequency.

    Ah! I see. Thanks!
  • jonpowljonpowl Santa Cruz, CA✭✭✭ Dupont MD-100, Cigano GJ-10
    Posts: 541
    Here is a link to a previous thread from DIJ 2012 with some great players. I believe Adrian said he has changed his style since this was recorded.
  • adrianadrian AmsterdamVirtuoso
    Posts: 466
    jpipper17 wrote: »
    Did you practice adding in the upstroke in the beginning, or is it something that has developed naturally over time?

    Honestly I don't remember what I practiced at the very beginning...! The upstroke has certainly developed over time, though, regardless of whether it was intended from the start.

    Adrian
  • bohemewarblerbohemewarbler St. Louis, MO✭✭✭✭ Jordan Wencek No.16, Altamira M01
    Posts: 207
    I do remember what I practiced with at the very beginning to get comfortable playing the upstroke. If it worked for me, maybe it'll work for you.

    For whatever reason, I found this particular version of this tune a natural for getting a good feel for a clean, in the pocket, upstroke. Don't know if will help, but if you get comfortable with mid-tempo tunes, with practice, you can step it up.

    The tune is "Are you in the Mood" performed by Samy Daussat and Claudius Dupont on the album, "Une historie en cours". It's available on iTunes. Then branch out on other tunes that give you the same amount of comfort and gradually challenge yourself.

    If you continue to get frustrated, just nix the upstroke. It's not necessary to play good GJ rhythm IMO. I usually leave it out myself. However, it's important to demonstrate a difference between the 1 and 3 and the 2 and 4. Not in volume, because the volume should be equal, but how you attack the strings on the downstroke, which effects the length of the wave.

    It's not a finished job for me. I'm still working on my playing, but it's important to feel comfortable and within your playing ability to have a good time.
  • Russell LetsonRussell Letson Prodigy
    Posts: 215
    Listen to yourself. Recording helps, but you have to listen while you're playing anyway, so pay attention to yourself and your bandmates. If something you're doing is getting in the way or muddying the pulse, and you can isolate it--stop doing it.

    Good rhythm playing, to my mind, keeps it simple, especially as the size of the group increases. I've played in duo/trio settings for most of my playing-out years, and just going from two voices to three (especially if what's added is a bass) requires some adjustment in how much the backing player "does." And while there's always a lot of fuss about getting that tiny upstroke just right--the most elusive element la pompe--I confess that I care a lot more about the solidity and steadiness of the pulse, even if it means that I'm playing like an American swing player. (And Freddie Green, Steve Jordan, and Bucky Pizzarelli are not exactly chopped liver.) The music is, after all, at its base swing.

    Maybe I'm atypical or lazy or some other thing, but I don't so much practice as listen and somehow adjust whatever it is I'm doing until it sounds right and fits the musical environment. Once I'm there, I can usually analyze and describe what it is I'm doing. Before that point, not so much.


    vanmalmsteent-bird
  • Great words @Russell Letson
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Andrew UlleAndrew Ulle Cleveland, OH✭✭✭ Antoine DiMauro modele Django
    Posts: 484
    ...pay attention to yourself and your bandmates. If something you're doing is getting in the way or muddying the pulse, and you can isolate it--stop doing it.
    ...just going from two voices to three (especially if what's added is a bass) requires some adjustment in how much the backing player "does."

    What was said above is to me extremely important in any genre - playing with others is overwhelmingly the best way to improve at any aspect of playing involving timing & dynamics, the key elements of rhythm playing. Just playing (in a R&R band) with a different drummer forces me to adjust my rhythm style. The other night I played with a different lead player, which made for a completely different experience.
    Buco
  • Elí SaúlElí Saúl Toluca, Mexico.New Dell'Arte DG-H2
    edited October 2018 Posts: 99
    Ahhh that's one of the tricky stuff in the genre, I think the best example is to just listen a lot of music, specifically Django's albums and compare it to modern players.

    I never spent much time on videos on YouTube for rythm playing, I focused on listening to the way many players did la pompe and analyzed what they do, and eventually realized that there's not a 100% formula but more of paying attention to the tune mood, the players you're with, and overall attention to what happens.

    While it's true that there are different style of la pompe usually the very best rythm players in the style combine them around, wether if they are aware of it or not, they certainly do so.

    You can compare them, I like for example Hono Winterstein's approach to rythm and N'ouche Rosenberg's ornamentations and fills, and try to imitate them (this is exactly what I did with Joseph Reinhardt as well). I was recommended by many players of the style to try to imitate Adrien Moignard & Gonzalo Bergara's way to approach rythm, but to be honest it didn't do it for me, to my ears they're not as bouncy and swingy as I want although they sound very stable.

    I kept trying to imitate specially Hono's rythm and eventually i had developed my rythm playing after some serious months of practice, it wasn't that easy for me but nowdays I feel more comfortable with my comping. Denis Chang uploaded Benji Winterstein's videos of his way to approach rythm, I was very pleased to see that I do practically the same, maybe those videos can work for you.

    Cheers!
    Jose
  • Posts: 2,479
    The thing that should be a part of this conversation but wasn't mentioned prior to Andrew's post from yesterday is dynamics. It's essential to music and what separates pros from amateurs and every pro in this genre is changing dynamics whether they're aware of it or not.

    And I'd like to think it should be a part of rhythm playing and la pompe.
    So, upstroke is fine but I think it should be used in service of dynamics of the song. To uplift things and then bring it back and so on.

    There are players who's rhythm playing I enjoy and they use upstroke almost all the time but it's barely audible. More than that, if there all the time, it becomes distracting...to me.
    Maybe I'll try to do a video, words don't convey music that well.
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
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